Valtteri Bottas has won the US Grand Prix after displaying a great drive towards the end of the race to beat his team mate Hamilton.
The spotlight however shines on the Briton, after Hamilton secured his sixth Formula One World Championship putting him just one title behind F1 legend Michael Schumacher.
Bottas started the race pretty well, building up a good enough gap in the opening few laps to guarantee himself some breathing room to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and the rest of the chasing pack.
Sebastian Vettel had a horrible get away, dropping positions to McLaren’s Lando Norris and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo in the first lap of the race. The German didn’t last long either after suffering suspension failure on lap eight which made him the first retirement of the race.
The big question this Grand Prix was, is it going to be a one stop or a two stopper? Lewis Hamilton and remaining Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc favoured the former, whilst his team-mate Bottas and Max Verstappen were on the two stop strategy turning the race into a tactical war.
Difference in Strategies
With Valtteri and Max both pitting for a new set and Lewis staying true to his one stop strategy, the pack slowly started shedding the time difference to him. Bottas eventually got right behind the gearbox of his World Championship rival and managed an overtake just before Lewis decided to make his one and only stop onto the hard compound.
Everything seemed set as the drivers that would battle for victory in the States were primed and ready. Max came into the pits for his second stop in lap 35, with Valtteri pitting in lap 36. This left the Finnish driver some 10 seconds adrift of Lewis with 20 laps to go, and Max right behind in third with similar intentions.
The only remaining Ferrari driver in the face of Leclerc was lagging behind and struggling with the lap times in fourth, failing to make his one stop strategy work as well as the race leader at the time.
Sprint to the Finish line
With the laps counting down as well as the gap between Hamilton and Bottas, it was just a matter of time before we got to the final showdown. Valtteri was once again on the gearbox of his team-mate by lap 51. Initially having his challenge rebuffed, Bottas made the second time count and took the lead heading into the final laps of the race. The question was, can Max now do the same and take advantage of Lewis’ worn out tyres?
Two laps before the end, it looked like P2 was in the bag for the Dutch driver, but a problem with the brakes for HAAS’ Kevin Magnussen saw him into the gravel trap with a waved yellow in sector 2, the place best for an overtake for Verstappen.
Being forced to slow down in that sector made the job of overtaking Hamilton near impossible and Max had to settle for third.
The results mean that Lewis Hamilton wins the 2019 Formula One World Championship, making it his sixth overall and third in a row. The Briton is now only the second driver in F1 history to have 6 or more championships with only the legend Michael Schumacher ahead of him with seven.
With both championships now settled, the drivers might get a chance to have some fun closing off an action and drama packed season. The next race is the Brazillian Grand Prix two weeks from now.
Top 10: Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen, Leclerc, Albon, Ricciardo, Norris, Sainz, Hulkenberg and Perez.
Retirements: Vettel, Kubica, Magnussen and Gasly.
(Picture taken by Jen_ross83, under Creative Commons License)